Constructing the Image of Byzantium in the 20th Century: the Russian Theme in the Greek “Neo-Byzantine” Project
The article examines a specific form of cultural reception. Since the end of the First World War a group of Greek intellectuals (Photis Kontoglou and Nikos Pentzikis in iconography and painting, Dimitris Pikionis in architecture, Basil Tatakis, John Romanides, Christos Yannaras, and John Zizioulas in their philosophical and theological writings) elaborated the forms of manifestation of the principle, which may be characterised as “Neo-Byzantinism”. Author of the article points to the fact that some of the above-mentioned Greek intellectuals found the detailed development of philosophical, theological and artistic aspects of this model in the works of Russian religious philosophers and Byzantinists of the 19th and 20th c. Greek authors “recognised” in the works created by the representatives of “the Third Rome” the cultural model appropriate for “the Second Rome”, perceiving this model as their own.
Author of the article seeks to shed some light on the most interesting moments of such perception and – as far as it goes – to describe some key principles of this play of reciprocal reflection of Russian and Greek cultural identities.